Two hydrogen-powered fuel cell lift trucks have been unveiled at a South Carolina facility and will soon begin trial evaluations at Michelin's Columbia production plant.

The lift trucks have been equipped with HyPX Fuel Cell Power Packs manufactured by Hydrogenics of Toronto, Canada and installed by LiftOne in electric lift trucks manufactured by Linde Materials Handling of Summerville, South Carolina.

The trucks are to be tested over a two-week period at the factory, the first of six such deployments across the Columbia area and where the products were unveiled - at the South Carolina premises of LiftOne and Engineered Solutions, both of which are divisions of Carolina Tractor.

LiftOne general manager Bill Ryan said, $quot;The promise of hydrogen-powered equipment has long been a dream of many of our customers looking to find more environmentally-friendly ways of doing business.$quot;

$quot;Here today that promise has become more of a reality,$quot; he added.

Michelin is the first customer to accept the new units to evaluate their performance and capabilities.

Hydrogenics and LiftOne signed a distribution agreement in January to make possible these programmed trials by multiple end-users, while funding for the project has been provided by the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge.

Hydrogenics has been in the business of developing and commercialising hydrogen and fuel cell technologies since 1995 and is regarded as a world leader in this ever emerging, clean energy industry.